Saturday, July 29, 2017
If Cities Do Not Comply With ICE Requirements Then They Should Not Get Grants
Dept of Justice Begins Sanctuary City Crackdown in Earnest
(Brendan Clarey, Liberty Headlines) Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Tuesday that sanctuary cities around the U.S. must give immigration officials more access, or else they’ll lose millions of dollars in DOJ grants.
Sessions said sanctuary cities will be punished for not communicating with ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) officials or allowing them access to inmates in jails or failing to announce the release of criminal aliens, according to a release from the Center for Immigration Studies.
“The four largest Byrne/JAG grants in 2016, worth more than $10 million, all went to sanctuaries jurisdictions: New York City; Cook County, Ill.; the City of Los Angeles; and Philadelphia,” Jessica Vaughan, the Center’s director of policy studies, said in the release Thursday. “The Department of Justice should cut them off unless they change their policies. Taxpayers should not be subsidizing local governments that interfere with immigration enforcement and endanger the public.”
There were over $30 million in Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants given to over 300 sanctuary city jurisdictions, according to the Center for Immigration Studies. Justice assistance grants are given to cities and help out in a number of ways.
According to the grant program’s website, cities who receive the grant use the money to “support a range of program areas including law enforcement, prosecution, indigent defense, courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, planning, evaluation, technology improvement, and crime victim and witness initiatives and mental health programs and related law enforcement and corrections programs, including behavioral programs and crisis intervention teams.”
Not all of the sanctuary cities will lose their grants under the new sanctions but those with stronger sanctuary policies will: New York City; Chicago; Cook County, Ill.; Philadelphia; San Francisco County, Calif.; Orleans County, La.; Newark, N.J.; Travis County, Texas; Taos County, N.M.; Lycoming County, Pa.; and Butler County, Pa, according to the Center for Immigration Studies.
“So-called sanctuary policies make all of us less safe because they intentionally undermine our laws and protect illegal aliens who have committed crimes,” Sessions said in a statement reported by Fox.
“These policies also encourage illegal immigration and even human trafficking by perpetuating the lie that in certain cities, illegal aliens can live outside the law,” Sessions continues. “We must encourage these ‘sanctuary’ jurisdictions to change their policies and partner with federal law enforcement to remove criminals.”
The Center for Immigration Studies released interactive maps highlighting which sanctuary cities would be affected by the sanctions against them, which ones are to be determined, and which ones would likely not have any sanctions against them.
The Center also lists the amount of money that each city receives from the grants with some of the biggest recipients of the grants such as New York and Chicago listed as “likely disqualifying.”
The DOJ pressure on sanctuary cities began to increase last Friday when Sessions addressed the issue in Philadelphia last Friday. He stressed the tension between law enforcement and city officials when it comes to helping immigration agents.
“Local police I know totally are supportive and want to work together on so many of these issues and I know you want to help. The problem are the policies that tie your hands and that makes all citizens, especially the police on the streets, less safe,” Sessions said according to Politico. “I urge the City of Philadelphia and every sanctuary city to reconsider the harm they are doing to their residents.”
The announcement from Sessions also comes amidst calls from President Donald Trump to step down as Attorney General.